I am very excited to be the principal of the Ridgway Elementary School. A very long time ago (1989) I had my very first teaching job right here in Ridgway. The following year I started working for the Telluride School District where I stayed for twenty-three years. In Telluride I was a classroom teacher for grades 3-6, a math specialist and the K-6 assistant principal. This will be my seventh year as an elementary principal.
I grew up in Evanston, Illinois and then went on to study elementary education at The University of Illinois. While my children were young I earned my Master's degree at The University of Colorado at Denver. Through all of these years I attended very large schools. It has been a pleasure to discover how much I like working in a small district, especially when surrounded by the San Juan Mountains. I have two children, Samantha age 12 and Henry age 10 and was married to Jim Nowak this summer.
As a principal my goal is to ensure a safe and warm learning environment for all students from preschool to fifth grade. The next goal is to help provide high-quality, standards-based instruction for all students each and every day. This is accomplished by working closely with teachers, committees and by spending time getting to know the curriculum, students and families of Ridgway. I enjoy working with teachers to align curriculum to the state standards, monitor student growth, and create multi-disciplinary units of study. I have a strong background in leading professional learning communities (PLC's) and working with parents to support student learning both at school and at home.